Kagle Leadership Initiatives

The Kagle Leadership Initiatives benefits the students and families of the Flint community.  Formerly known as Kagle Mentoring, the program has evolved into five primary ways to serve Flint and its community:

  • Leadership
  • Mentoring
  • Tutoring
  • Community advocacy
  • Pre-College

Read more on Kagle Leadership Initiatives.

Meet a mentee

Jurnell Burton

One of the students currently enjoying mentoring is Jurnell Burton, a 14-year-old freshman at Flint Northern High School. His Kagle Mentor is Kettering student Locksly Wallace.  He and other Kagle mentors help Burton with personal and educational opportunities. "The Kagle mentors help us get ready for college and other things like school work," he explained. Burton said he is interested in math, science and engineering, but recently discovered a new interest in politics and law

Read more on Jurnell Burton.

Other Flint Commitments

Bob Kagle has a long history of helping in his hometown. About 10 years ago, he sponsored students in the Quest Scholars Program at Standford University. He helped local students participate in the mentorship and leadership-training program for exceptionally bright, low income students with interests in higher education, leadership, and professional careers.  Read more on the Quest Scholars Program.

Bob Kagle presented Commencement Address for more than 200 graduates June 9

Bob Kagle is considered by many to be the embodiment of the phrase “hometown boy does good.”   He was raised by a single mother in Flint, who recognized his particular talent for math and science early in his academic career.  She convinced her boss at Flint’s AC Spark Plug to sponsor him as a cooperative education student at Kettering.

His college years were highly successful.  He was actively involved in a variety of extra-curricular activities including coaching and participating in intramural sports.  He was a resident adviser in Thompson Hall and a Student Senate leader.  His career began as a co-op student for General Motors in 1973.   In 1978, he was named a Sobey Scholar and graduated from Kettering with a degree in Mechanical/Electrical Engineering and a minor in Industrial Administration.

He continued his education at Stanford University, earning a master’s of Business Administration from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business in 1980.  Entrepreneurial opportunity in Silicon Valley moved him permanently to the West Coast.

Mr. Kagle has enjoyed a distinguished career in venture capital investment that spans 30 years.  Bob began his venture career as a Partner with Technology Venture Investors in 1983.  TVI was the lead investor in Microsoft, Sun Microsystems and COMPAQ Computers.  In 1995, he co-founded Benchmark Capital in Menlo Park, California, and served as its General Partner for many years.  Benchmark Capital helped launch eBay and earned Mr. Kagle an enduring national respect for helping consumer-based information technology and entrepreneurial companies entering emerging markets.  Benchmark’s success continues today.  Recent investments include Instagram, OpenTable, Yelp!, and Twitter.

Mr. Kagle has served on the boards of over 50 early stage companies including: AllPosters.com, Ariba (ARBA), Art.com, Axiom Global, eBags, eBay (EBAY), E-LOAN (EELN), Jamba Juice (JMBA), Mint, Potbelly, Prosper, Stitcher, Synopsys (SNPS), uShip, Zipcar (ZIP) and zipRealty (ZIPR).

Mr. Kagle is past director of the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) and a past president of the Western Association of Venture Capitalists (WAVC).  A veteran of the venture industry, he has been honored in many ways.  In 2002, "Forbes" magazine placed him at #1 on its Midas List for Tech’s Top Venture Investors.  In 2003, he was inducted into the National Co-op Hall of Fame.

At Kettering University, Mr. Kagle served on the University’s Board of Trustees from 1995 to 2010.  He was chairman of the Board of Trustees from 2001 to 2003 and served on the Investment Committee and the Finance and Audits Committee.  He is a long-time member of the President’s Council and is the benefactor of the Kagle Scholarship Program.   

In 2001, Mr. Kagle established the Kagle Mentoring Program, now Kagle Leadership Initiatives, for students and families from Flint.  The program originally started as a one-on-one mentoring program for high school students and has evolved to include teen forums, community tutoring, middle school service projects and elementary school small group mentoring.  Today, Kagle Leadership Initiatives focuses on Mentoring, Leadership, Tutoring, Community Advocacy and Pre-College programs.

Read more about what our entrepeneurs do here.

Bob's Bio

  • Born and raised in Flint
  • Co-op career began in 1973
  • Earned dual degrees in 1978
  • Majored in Mechanical/Electrical Engineering
  • Minor in Industrial Administration
  • Earned MBA at Stanford in 1980
  • Co-founded Benchmark Capital in 1995
  • Served on Kettering Board of Trustees 1995-2010
  • Chair of Kettering Board of Trustees 2001-2003
  • #1 on Forbes Midas List, 2002
  • Joined Naitonal Co-op Hall of Fame, 2003
  • President's Council member
  • Benefactor of Kagle Scholarship Program
  • Established Kagle Mentoring Program in 2001


  • June 9, 2012 - 11 am
  • Connie & Jim John Rec Center 
  • Open to the public
  • No tickets required
  • Doors open at 9 am
  • Free parking in all campus lots

More Commencement information.


  • 175 Bachelor Degrees Awarded
  • 68 Master's Degrees Awarded
  • 13 Graduating Summa Cum Laude
  • 18 Graduating Magna Cum Laude
  • 35 Graduating Cum Laude